Truth be told, we’re not a picky bunch when it comes to cars. In fact, we firmly believe it doesn’t take much to be included in our top picks for the best cars of 2019.
We like cars that blend funky styling, exhilarating performance, and everyday practicality in a relatively affordable package. Really, are these too much to ask in a new car?
The answer is no. Sure; we like sports cars and supercars as much as the average petrol head, but let’s get real. You need tons of money to keep a supercar running, and the insurance costs are no joke, either.
And here’s the thing: a certain car doesn’t need to be a sports car or supercar to be considered great to drive. With that being said, here are our top picks for the best cars of 2019 presented in no particular order.
Parent company Hyundai is trying to make waves in the sport-luxury niche, and it fielded an outstanding candidate in the Genesis G70. Mind you, the G70 is all-new but it managed to snatch the 2019 North American Car of the Year award in its first year of production.
The Genesis G70 is purpose-built for the task at hand. It has a long wheelbase with shorter overhangs and a long hood – the classic proportions of a compact sport-luxury sedan. And since the G70 is longer than a BMW 3-Series, it also offers a bit more room.
The base engine is a 2.0-liter turbo four-pot with 252-horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. And while the smaller motor can be paired with a slick six-speed manual and rear-wheel drive, we prefer the burly 3.3-liter turbocharged V6 with 365-horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque. Paired with an eight-speed automatic and AWD, what you have is an all-weather sports sedan that’s great to drive at under $47k.
If you haven’t heard of Kia’s newest seven-seat Telluride SUV, it’s essentially a more rugged version of the Hyundai Palisade. And even though both SUVs are mechanically the same, we think the Telluride is superior in terms of design and driving feel.
Powering the Telluride is a 3.8-liter V6 producing 291-horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. The engine is mated to an eight-speed automatic with standard front-wheel-drive and optional all-wheel-drive. If you like an SUV with a V8 engine, you’re barking at the wrong tree. But give the V6 a chance and you’ll find the Telluride offers plenty of oomph.
We like the boxy styling and we also like the V6 engine. But what really blew us away are the Telluride’s upscale interior and responsive demeanor. We’re not the biggest SUV fans out there, but the Telluride managed to turn us into believers.
There are two things worth mentioning about the Toyota Supra before we begin. First, it costs above $50,000. Next, it’s essentially a BMW Z4 underneath, and that’s not exactly true – the steering wheel and infotainment system are lifted from BMW while the same holds true for the bevy of switchgear in the cabin.
And despite this, we still like the Supra for being the most balanced sports car money can buy. It has a magnificent 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 churning out 382-horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque, although tuners swear the numbers are conservative by nature. Paired with a ZF eight-speed automatic and rear-wheel-drive, the Supra rushes from 0 to 60 mph in around 4.0-seconds.
And yeah, the new Toyota Supra is littered with fake vents, but those are useful when its time to add some go-fast goodies under the hood. Remember, the Supra became iconic for being a tuner’s car, and the new model is primed and ready for some good old performance tuning.
Audi RS7 Sportback
Until now, we’re having problems choosing between the Audi RS7 Sportback and RS6 Avant. Our hearts keep pining for the gorgeous sloping roof in the RS7 Sportback, but it’s hard to deny the RS6 Avant’s practical station wagon styling.
Consider this a tie between the two. But if it’s our money on the line, we’ll get the RS7 Sportback without batting an eyelash. However, no matter which you choose, you essentially get the same engine and drivetrain. We’ve driven both the RS7 Sportback and RS6 Avant, and both cars feel the same.
And that’s not a bad thing considering you get a twin-turbocharged V8 motor packing 600-horsepower and an in-your-face 590 pound-feet of torque. With an eight-speed transmission and Quattro permanent all-wheel-drive, the RS7 Sportback and RS6 Avant are essentially sports cars in disguise, but don’t tell the wife, okay?
The Honda e electric car won’t make it stateside, and we find that alarming. With base prices estimated to start at $37,000, the Honda e is an affordable EV with the funky styling of a proper European minicar.
The Honda e is riding on an all-new EV platform. It has short overhangs and a long wheelbase along with a wider track. It also has cameras for mirrors and pop-out door handles. The interior is a careful mishmash between old and new, and we love it! It even has a humble two-spoke steering wheel.
But the Honda e also has a perfect 50/50 weight distribution courtesy of a floor-mounted 35.5-kWh battery pack. The car utilizes a single electric motor located aft for some rear-wheel-drive action. And while this EV is only good for 136 miles of range, it has a CCS2 DC rapid charging port that replenishes the batteries to 80-percent in 30 minutes.
Tesla Model 3
The Tesla Model 3 remains to be the best entry-level electric car. Also, Tesla as an EV maker is way ahead of the competition in terms of battery efficiency, performance, software, technology, and features.
The base Model 3 Standard Range Plus starts at below $40,000 (before applicable tax credits) and has a single electric motor with RWD. However, it’s good for 250-miles of range and rushes to 60 mph in 5.3-seconds. The top-of-the-line Performance model is good for 310-miles of range and accelerates to 60 mph in 3.2-seconds using two electric motors.
You also get a bevy of cool, hi-tech features like Tesla’s Autopilot self-driving software and the summon feature. All these and more make the Tesla Model 3 the most advanced – and possibly the coolest – electric vehicle to hit the streets.